Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Places I'm Visiting: Skiing at Lake Tahoe (January 18, 2011)
The resort is a stone's throw from Donner Lake and the Donner Pass. On the way home, we stopped at the monument marking one of the Donner Party camps. Above the monument and the lake, at the summit of the pass, is an excellent view of the area that trapped the group. After rescue, the survivors climbed up the rocks that were at my feet when I took the photo below. A fabulous sunset followed this. At a local bookstore, I picked up a copy of Desperate Passage (Ethan Rarick, Oxford University Press, 2008), which looks like a good account of the tragedy. On the wall of my mother's house there hangs a small drawing of a bird in a red frame by Tamsin Donner--a direct descendant of the original Tamzene Donner, wife of George Donner, one of the leaders of the ill-fated group.
[Update: After writing this post, I read and reviewed Ethan Rarick's excellent book about the Donner Party and its ordeal, Desperate Passage.]